Annette Nay, Ph.D.
There is a silent, growing problem in our homes, amongst our children. It is
incest. Many parents never know it is there. Others find out only after several
of their children have been victimized.
Until recently, the prevailing belief was that adolescents do not commit
sexual offenses of any serious consequence. As a result, the adolescent sexual
offender has been neglected in prosecution, research, clinical literature, and
In 1981 the FBI Uniform Crime Reports state that juveniles were responsible
for 20% of all our countries sexual offenses. A significant number of those
reported were incestuous acts committed between siblings. These are only the
Since this is a silent crime and with the rise of easily obtained pornography
and explicit TV shows, magazines, and Internet, it is feared that the percentage
of incestuous sibling activity today, is incredibly high.
The following information was taken from three separate studies of
intra-familial sexual offenders headed by Keith L. Kaufman, Ph.D., Associate
Professor of Pediatrics and Psychology Children's Hospital and The Ohio State
These facts tend to correlate with studies done on other sexual crimes on
youth such as adult pedophiles.
Intra-familial offenders were defined as perpetrators whose primary sexual
acts were victim(s) related to them or shared a home with them.
Personal Space-The area or space within arms distance of a person.
Grooming Behaviors - Behaviors used to gain positive sexual or favorable
responses from younger siblings. The touching or caressing is used to get the
victim used to their ever increasing and quickly becoming sexually oriented
Demographics and Generalities
- Participants ranged in age from 13 to 20 intra-familial offenders
completing the questionnaires were about 17 years old, Caucasian, and had
completed a 9th grade education.
- The vast majority of offenders were charged with rape or gross sexual
imposition. Intra-familial offenders had received an average of 8.9 months
of sex offender treatment
- More than half of the intra-familial offenders reported a history of being
sexually abused (62%), often by a relative (53%).
- Many offenders also reported engaging in sexual activity with older
females that they did not consider abusive.
- The majority of victims of offenses involving physical contact are female,
below the age of 12 years,
- Offenders are predominantly white males with a history of non-sexual
acting out behavior or delinquency, who either experienced or observed
physical violence or sexual abuse while growing up. Although intra-familial
sexual offenses occur across all boundaries of sex, age, income, religion,
- Rapes committed by adolescent offenders are less likely to involve
coercion via a weapon or to result in physical harm. However, research also
indicates that a substantial proportion of adolescent perpetrators (33% to
45%) have used some degree of physical force and/or threats to harm their
- The majority of such offenses seem to occur in the home shared by the
victim and the offender.
Understanding the perpetrators' modus operandi is critical for identifying
"red-flag" situations which put your children in danger. Moreover, the
identification of these behavior patterns can be utilized to enlist the
assistance of family members in monitoring offenders' actions.
- Intra-familial offenders were most likely to gain time alone with their
victims by watching TV, baby-sitting, sharing a bedroom, or taking the
- The sexual contact frequently occurred in the house shared by the offender
and the victim.
- Intra-familial offenders were least likely to find time alone with their
victims at school or on the way to school, and by taking their victims to
the movies, video arcade, or playground.
- The most and least frequently employed methods ... Offenders usually
attempted to gain trust by playing with the victim, being friends with the
victim, doing what the victim liked to do, giving the victim non-sexual
attention, and spending a lot of time with the victim.
- Adolescent offenders rarely used substances, such as drugs, beer, or
cigarettes, to gain their victim's trust.
- Adolescent offenders rarely used methods such as talking to the victim
about another abuser the victim knew, or having the victim talk to another
child who the offender had previously abused.
- Offenders rarely threatened to kill their victims' siblings, parents,
friends, or relatives in an effort to keep the victims quiet about the
- Offenders who were more frequently exposed to pornography, who more
frequently engaged in sexual fantasies, and who more frequently masturbated
used the following modus operandi strategies with greater frequency:
- attempts to gain their victims' trust, bribes and enticements to gain
- victims' cooperation
- threats and coercion to gain cooperation
- threats and coercion to maintain victim silence following the abuse
- A history of exhibitionism was significantly correlated with the access,
trust, and bribes and enticements.
- Offenders who had more frequently exposed themselves to others also gained
access to their victims in a wider variety of locations, more frequently
used strategies to gain their victims' trust, and more frequently used
bribes and enticements to gain victim's cooperation in sexual activity.
- A history of voyeurism correlated significantly with the bribes and
enticements, threats and coercion, and maintaining silence.
A Synopsis of Red Flags Warnings To Look For
- Child/Teen has access to sexual explicit role models, movies, and/or
- Spend a lot of time with older same sex or opposite sex person with time
unaccounted for or unchaperoned.
- Has been caught in "Peeping Tom" or "Flasher"
- Engages in Grooming Behaviors:
- An older sibling touching or patting the younger sibling, especially
suspect if it behavior continues and/or if touch is characteristic of a
sexual familiarity. i.e. brushing against sexual or private parts,
patting the buttocks, kissing on the lips, long hugs, etc.
- Deferring to or playing younger sibling games with younger sibling.) This
behavior is especially suspect in teens with younger siblings as teen
usually do not want to be bothered with younger siblings!
- Youth is overly attentive to younger sibling usually 12 or under.
- Invading the younger siblings "personal space" consistently
- Entering private bedrooms or bathroom while sibling is dressing and/or
- Closing the door upon entering a younger siblings room.
- Special gifts or treats given to the younger sibling.
- Spending a lot of time with younger sibling of either sex.
- Notice if the child does not want to be left with another sibling. Find
Barriers to Sexual Abuse...
Pray for help! Then act on the following to do what you can to keep
your children safe...
- Do not leave opposite or same sex children alone together in the home for
long periods of time.
- If you must be gone and can't take your younger children with you, arrange
for at least the younger siblings to have:
- sleep-overs with parental supervision
- play dates with other children their age which are parentally
- time at a daycare facility or sports activity that had more than one
- Do not allow the doors to be closed when other siblings are together
- Doors are to be locked and drapes pulled went children are in the room,
- No one is allowed in the bathroom when someone is toileting or bathing.
- The bathroom door is to be locked when someone is toileting or bathing.
- Siblings nor parents are to come out of their rooms scantly clad.
- Establish open lines of communications with your children so they feel
free to report inappropriate or worrisome contact with adults or older
- Explain the difference between "Good Touch" and "Bad
Touch." "Bad Touch" is the touching of the areas their
bathing suit covers by any one else. Explain why this may take place for
Doctor exams (with at least 2 people in the room).
- Opposite sex children should never not room or tent together.
- Same sex children should be supervised when rooming or tenting together by
no notice visits.
- When doors are closed longer that is needed to change clothes, investigate
- Help your children to understand that they have the right to resist any
offensive contact. Teach them: "No! Go! Tell!" -->Yell
"NO!", get away, and tell an adult immediately!
- Never leave your child alone with anyone!
- Trust your instincts and/or warnings of the Spirit. It is doesn't seem
right, or you get a funny feeling, or reoccurring thought keep entering your
thoughts that something is wrong. Trust those feelings and act!
- No skinny-dipping allowed!
- Help your children recognize situations that can cause them to be in
- Being alone with adults or older children/siblings.
- Having other people (no matter the age) invade their private space.
(One arm's distance away from them.)
- Teaching them about "Grooming Behaviors" so if they happen
to them they will know them for what they are.
- Teach them to trust their instincts! If it doesn't seem right it,
- If gifts or treats begin to happen on a regular basis, teach them to
- The sex offender must have access to your child. Limit that access as much
- Remember in today's wicked world, everyone is suspect, even every member
- immediate and extended family.
Both the offender and the victim need counseling. Make sure that they get it.
Do not sweep the situation under the carpet. Turn in the offender to the
authorities so that they can get him/her sex offender treatment. Today's Sex
Offender Treatment really does help. The courts will order this for the sex
Sex offenses left untreated only get worse and
harder to treat!
See: Counseling for Sexual Misconduct
A Mother's Plea (Finding, Funding and Mandating Treatment for Offenders) http://incestabuse.about.com/health/mentalhealth/incestabuse/library/weekly/aa020998.htm?COB=home&terms=juvenile+sex+offenders&PM=112_300_T
Adult and Youth Sex Offender Treatment Centers http://incestabuse.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://www.gl.umbc.edu/~ddixon1/women/sexabuse/offendtx.html
Treating the Denying Sex Offender By Charlene Steen, Ph.D., J.D. http://incestabuse.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://www.cs.utk.edu/~bartley/offender/treatingSO.html
JUVENILE FORENSIC EVALUATION RESOURCE CENTER
Graduated and Community-Based Sanctions for Juvenile Offenders Richard E.
Redding, J.D., Ph.D. Many juvenile justice scholars agree that prison
incarceration should be reserved only for a small number of very chronic or
violent offenders, with graduated and community-based dispositions used for all
Annette Nay, Ph.D.
Annette Nay Homepage
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